By the time you read this, there will already be a new PPRA President. Longtime Board Member Nina Scimenes was inducted on June 5.
I, for one, will be looking forward to Nina's presidency and seeing her steer this Association for another 12 months.
Meanwhile, the small break between PPRA programming years provides an opportunity to reflect on some highlights from the past 12 months.
Most exciting to me is that PPRA is bigger than it used to be. Membership is up more than 10 percent over the same period last year. Seeing the PPRA community grow is extremely exciting -- especially considering the different options that exist for professional affiliation and development.
Thank you for trusting PPRA with your membership dollars.
PPRA's programs and events continued to provide valuable information and experiences to our members. There truly was something for everyone on our event calendar -- media panels with print and broadcast reporters, fun happy hours at trendy venues, panels on social media and crisis communications and, of course, an amazing trip to New York City that saw members visit 30 Rock and the
New York Times building.
Thank you for attending our programs -- especially knowing how busy you are.
I will always be proud -- make that #PPRAProud -- of the good works that we did.
The more than 1,000 books donated to Tree House Books to help promote literacy in low-income neighborhoods. An additional $3,000 that was donated to the special needs fund to help PPRA member Mary Salisbury, who was paralyzed just weeks into her first full-time PR job. All of the personal care toiletries that were dropped off at Bonnie Grant's Hall of Fame Luncheon so that the Broad Street Ministry could donate these items to people in need in our own community.
Then there are our college relations programs -- Networking 101 and Careers 101. I treasured the opportunity to spend time around the college students who someday will become active PPRA members and Association leaders.
To every PPRA member who served on the college relations committee or gave time to network with students, review resumes or donate a coffee meeting or shadow day....THANK YOU for making a difference.
I am grateful to the PPRA Hall of Famers -- especially those of you who visited our board meetings or found a way to be active in the Association in some way. Your decades long dedication to PPRA is one of the coolest parts of the Association.
PPRA Sponsors who provided much of the resources that made our programming possible, thank you! That we were able to host a national figure such as Tarana Burke at our Annual Meeting Celebration speaks volumes about the generosity of our professional colleagues.
Finally, thank you, as well, to the amazing PPRA Board. Your tireless work is the engine that powers the Association. Nina Scimenes, Deirdre Hopkins, Bill Wedo, Jaime Martorana, Hope Corse, Kellsey Turner, Anthony Stipa, Darrah Pillieri, Sarah Maiellano, and Gary Bramnick: You all rocked.
A special thanks to the four Past Presidents who serve on the PPRA Board: Chris Lukach, Dr. Bill Cowen, Meredith Z. Avakian and Ashley Berke. Your counsel has proven invaluable.
Thank you to the staff of Neff & Downing Management Services: PPRA Executive Director Denise Downing and her colleagues Kevin Downing and Lauren LaPointe. This team does so much behind the scenes and makes PPRA run smoothly.
Finally, thank you PPRA for allowing me to serve as your president for the past year. It was an experience I will never forget.
Have a great summer!